Details shared by Deepika Telang, jodhpur
Elements of the art of Kathakali are found in the ancient ritual plays of Hindu temples and various dance forms that are believed to have been gradually developed in Kerala from as early as the 2nd Century until the end of the 16th Century. Many of its characteristics are very much older than its literature, as they are a continuation of older traditions, but these did not crystallize until the 17th Century when the Rajah of Kottarakkara, a small principality in central Travancore, wrote plays based on the Hindu epic "Ramayana" in sanskritized Malayam, which could be understood by ordinary people. Before this, the stories were enacted in pure Sanskrit, which was known only to the learned few. From then on, Kathakali emerged as an individual style of dance-drama into a "people's theatre" from the traditional dances of the past. The plays were performed by the Rajah's own company of actors, not only in temples and courts, but from village to village and house to house. The new art form (called Ramanattan) soon became very popular all over the Malayalam-speaking area. The feudal chieftains of Malabar (as the area was then called) began to vie with one another in their efforts to produce the best Kathakali troupes and this competition contributed to the rapid development of the art in a very short period.
Near Santa Cruz Bazilica, K.B.Jacob Road,Fort Kochi, Kochi -1, Ernakulam, Kerala 682001
The performing artist
The shows over here are shown in BBC and various other channels.